News | October 15, 2021

MCBA Annual Book Artist Award is Back After Yearlong Hiatus

Courtesy of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Minneapolis, MN — The Minnesota Book Artist Award is a unique category at the Minnesota Book Awards, going beyond the content of a book’s pages to celebrate the visual and structural qualities that are integral to the handmade book.

After taking a year off due to the pandemic, Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is pleased to once again host the award in partnership with the Minnesota Book Awards. Sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group, this annual award recognizes a Minnesota book artist or collaborative group for excellence in new artistic work, depth of knowledge and quality in the book arts through supporting previous work, as well as significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community. The winning work will be on view in an exhibition in MCBA’s Main Gallery from January 13–March 6, 2022.

The most recent winner, in 2020, was a collaborative team of 11 led by renowned printer and wood engraver Gaylord Schanilec. They completed a book project called My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall’s Story. The image development, composition, printing, and binding team produced both a 4.5-foot wide fine press edition and a trade hardcover edition of the book. Two years earlier, the winning work, entitled For Now, measured just three inches in height. Winning artist Jody Williams described it as “at once a book, a box, and a puzzle.” Other previous winners include Erica Spitzer Rasmussen (2018), Steven McCarthy (2017) and Wendy Fernstrum (2016).

Minnesota-based artists who are interested in entering the award can go to or to learn more about the submission process. The deadline to submit is November 1. Judging will take place in the first two weeks of November and the awardee will be notified in December.